I'm way behind on this meme, but decided it would be fun to do anyway. So here goes. The idea came from Chilihead. This was my first visit to her site. This has been a very popular idea.
How did you start blogging?
I had never heard the word "blog". My niece moved to England with my nephew and decided to journal her stay there, including giving birth to her second child. It was interesting to see England through her eyes, since my brother and family had lived there for many years. Then I discovered two other nieces had "blogs." I still didn't know that it stood for "weblog."
My daughter, Kristen, began to tell me that I needed to visit Diane at her blog, because we had a lot in common, meaning prodigal sons. I resisted vigorously. I had some negative ideas about blogging at the beginning, about which I will not elaborate.
I began reading Kristen's, Diane's, my nieces', my SIL's blogs, and commenting as "Anonymous," but signing my name. It is a year this week since our prodigal came home from Teen Challenge, and that's what started my blogging journey. Diane welcomed him home with a huge cyber party and everyone started wondering how they could visit me and give their greetings.
One day Kristen wrote me an e-mail telling me that I was up and running and my blog was called "Call Me Grandma Dawn." I wasn't at all sure about the whole idea, but I entered with fear and trembling one year ago Saturday. I'll be blogging about that later this week.
Kristen is my techno hero, and I could not have done any of this without her. She's amazing. And she's a good writer.
Did you intend to be a blog w/a big following? If so, how did you go about it?
I knew nothing about "followers". I had fun visiting those who visited those whom I visited. That's how it started. I remember finding other grandmas, who were looking for other grandmas. Pretty soon we had this great network of "more mature" moms joining in with the young moms. I still don't have a large following. I don't have time to visit hundreds. But I love coming every day and finding messages from my new friends.
I had to laugh when Chilihead mentioned the The Seedy Underbelly of Blog Addiction, because I discovered it quite early on as well. In fact, I blogged about it here in "BA, Anyone?" BA, of course, stands for "Bloggers Anonymous." I was hooked. Like anyone else, it's fun to have more than the average comments on any given day. My husband began to wonder what in the world had happened, but is very understanding and patient with my stories about my new friends.
What do you hope to achieve or accomplish with your blog? Have you been successful? If not, do you have a plan to achieve those goals?
I suppose I should have had a plan and a goal before plunging in. But I didn't. I just found it to be incredibly fun to write again. I haven't since college and I used to feel like I was pretty good at it. As time has passed, the blog has become many things to me: a place to visit friends, a place to "randomly ramble" about things in my life that pass through my mind and have to be caught on notes before I forget them. Then I put them down for the world. I have enjoyed going back in my memory to my childhood, high school, college. I love telling stories about my life and those who have made it so good.
Kristen and I unexpectedly launched a series about her journey through anorexia, which was very special to us. Since the whole blogging thing started with our son's return as a delivered drug addict, that has become a huge part of the focus. I asked him if he'd like to join me in a series about his journey through addictions, as Kristen had with anorexia, and he agreed. It was an amazing experience, cathartic and painful. Both journeys are highlighted on my sidebar. It is our dream to write a book together in the not too distant future.
Another purpose that has emerged is the chronicling of my life with the grandchildren. I take care of them half days and do my "career" half days. It is exhausting at times, but so much fun to watch them grow and develop. Just Call Me Grandma Dawn!
Has the focus of your blog changed since you started blogging? How?
Since I stated I didn't have a clear focus at the beginning, I guess I have to say it hasn't changed. There is no definite purpose, but I find myself seeing everything through new eyes - eyes that translate everything that happens to me into a possible blog. I think I live more aware these days. I have never enjoyed my flowers, sunsets, the mountains, sunrises, funny things, sad things, kids (mine and others) as much as I have since this adventure began.
What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you started?
I can't really think of an answer to this question. Since I knew nothing, and have had fun learning, I have no regrets. I wish I knew more than I do, but as long as Kristen is around and willing, I'm good to go! I have to say I've learned a lot and have lots of fun taking, scanning, and posting pictures. I will say that I wish I had my past history more organized, as some fellow bloggers do!
Do you make money with your blog?
I guess I was aware in the back of my consciousness that some people are making money with blogging, but it never occurred to me that I could or ever would. So, I guess that's an unqualified "No."
Does your immediate or extended family know about your blog? If so, do they read it? If not, why?
Definitely. You'll notice on my sidebar that I have links to 13 family blogs. I don't know how many of them read mine, and I don't read them all every day. My dad thinks blogs are "evil" - I'm not sure why. I share things with my mom that I have read. I have made booklets for them of our series. We have a family web site as well, so we have good coverage with our family keeping in touch around the world.
What two pieces of advice would you give to a new blogger?
1. Try not to become obsessed, though it's hard!
2. Don't lurk. Comment. It's much more fun that way.